Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is the integration of a number of microcomponents on a single chip which allows the microsystem to both sense and control the environment. The components typically include microelectronic integrated circuits (the “brains”), sensors (the “senses” and “nervous system”), and actuators (the “hands” and “arms”).
The components are typically integrated on a single chip using microfabrication technologies. The electronics, mechanical and electromechanical components are fabricated using technologies borrowed heavily, but not exclusively, from integrated circuit fabrication technology. There are three principal steps:
As described at MEMSNet “MEMS promises to revolutionize nearly every product category by bringing together silicon-based microelectronics with micromachining technology, making possible the realization of complete systems-on-a-chip. MEMS is an enabling technology allowing the development of smart products, augmenting the computational ability of microelectronics with the perception and control capabilities of microsensors and microactuators and expanding the space of possible designs and applications.”
MEMS applications are growing fast. They are currently used in:
SmallTech will help improve and extend your MEMS devices and systems - and help evaluate whether new MEMS application areas make sense for your company.
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